Baba Ijesha: Prosecution closes case

The Lagos State government has closed its case against Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju James, alias Baba Ijesha, who is facing trial at an Ikeja Special Offences Court over allegations of defilement.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mrs Olayinka Adeyemi, the Lagos State Director of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), made this known on Wednesday after the cross-examination of the sixth prosecution witness by the defence.

“The prosecution has closed its case against the defendant,” the DPP said.

Following the DPP’s statement, the defence counsel, Mr Kayode Olabiran, announced to the court that the defence intended to file a no-case submission.

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo said: “We will take the no-case submission in the New Year; the court is rounding up.”

Earlier, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, in a ruling said Baba Ijesha’s confessional statement to the police was admissible in evidence.

The judge ruled that there was no evidence before the court, which proved that the embattled Nollywood actor was tortured into giving the statement to the police.

She noted that the claim that a police officer, Insp. Abigail Omane, had promised to set him free if he owned up to the allegations were not corroborated and described the defendant’s application to the court as an afterthought.

“Sitting on the floor does not vitiate the confessional statement. The statement is found to be relevant and admissible,” the judge said.

Following the ruling, the last prosecution witness, Omane, resumed her evidence.

The police officer told the court that after she had taken the evidence of the defendant, she took all the parties in the case to the office of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO).

“Thereafter the case was transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) Panti,” she said.

While being cross-examined by Olabiran, Omane threw more light on why the defendant’s shirt was torn when he was brought to the police station.

“The survivor told us that she was the one that beat him. There was no report of harassment of the complainant at the police station three years ago.

“I’m not aware if the police were informed prior to the installation of the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) at the complainant’s house,” she said.

The case was adjourned until Jan. 26, 2022 for adoption of the no-case submission.

NAN reports that Baba Ijesha is facing a six-count charge bordering on indecent treatment of a child, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault by penetration.

The defendant was arraigned on June 24. Six prosecution witnesses testified against the defendant.

They are – actress and comedienne, Ms Damilola Adekoya, alias Princess; the 14-year-old survivor (name withheld), a child expert and Mrs Olabisi Ajayi-Kayode.

Others are: a medical doctor, Dr Aniekan Makanjuola, the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), ASP Wahab Kareem and Omane.

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